She is the loud one at the table. Easy to find. Her face is smudged with chocolate because she snuck a cookie before lunch was eaten. Her hair is wild, matching bow long gone. Her feet are bare, socks under the table, feet tucked beneath. She screams, “Noooo!” in a naughty voice.
Eyes stare and heads turn to look at the noisy, unruly toddler. Her mother hushes and wipes, bends to pick up a stray sock, for the third time. She forces a smile. On the outside.
On the inside she struggles with wanting her child to conform. To sit nicely, behave well, eat sandwich before cookie. To be like the other quiet children in the restaurant.
She is me: Embarrassed by my child; Ashamed that I am embarrassed.
Why do I want my child to be like everyone else? Why am I so uncomfortable with imperfection? And comfortable with conformity?
At the same time, I want her to be herself. As she grows, to stand firm in truth, to withstand the strong current of worldliness that will fight to whisk her away.
One day, I will marvel at her strength and will when she makes a good decision and leads rather than follows.
How can I want both?
God, forgive me for wanting to squeeze her into a box. She doesn’t fit. Help me to embrace her strong will as a strength, not a weakness.
You created her in your image.
And she is mine.
Are you blessed with a strong-willed child(ren) too? Tell me what you love about them…
Want to know what I’ve learned about raising strong-willed children courtesy of some great resouces? Make sure you check out my January 1st newsletter.